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Alex Berezow Education. (2012) 'Science Left Behind Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left.'

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Mars 7, Nasa 3, Gordon 2, Bush 2, Washington 2, The Usda 1, United States 1, Jeff Goldblum 1, Excepted 1, Monsanto 1, John Bennett 1, Barack Obama 1, Libya 1, Us 1, Egypt 1, Bioethics 1, Eric Cantor 1, Heaven 1, Obama 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Alex Berezow  Education.  (2012) 'Science Left Behind  
   Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left.'  

    November 25, 2012
    5:45 - 7:15am EST  

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>> the research is done by the private sector but, of course, what you want is a know the technology better. you wouldn't want the testing to be done by someone who doesn't understand the actual technologies to make the genetic engineered product. >> there's also something else. when you say there is no regulation, that's not true. the policy is known as the substantial equivalence.
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what they essentially ask is if you have a genetically modified crop and you have the conventional crop, does the genetically modified crop match the original crop nutritionally? okay, that's essentially the question, the same nutrients. are their toxins? is there something that is bad? >> monsanto determines that spent if you'd like to have an independent review board do that then maybe that's a reasonable reform. but here's what the fda's policy is. what i'm trying to do is trying to explain to you what the policy is. you say they don't have a policy. they do have a policy. what they will think you're if the fda determines that a food is not made substantial equivalence, then it is subject to full fda approval and not only does the fda have a say in it, if you want to go out and planted outside the usda and epa also get involved. >> how can you expect to get a
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fair hearing -- >> sir, you are pretty much -- [talking over each other] he's a former monsanto guy. >> we might have to cut off the microphone for the first time in six years i've been here. you have had five or six. >> take the microphone from him, please. >> can we have an actual question? in the form of the question. this lady here. >> so kind of going back to what paul asked earlier, we can talk about all the problems and who is the worst and which side is doing which things but what do you recommend in terms of solutions either from the scientific community or from politicians or from the general public. >> that's the $64,000 question. to address your first question, we can determine which side is worse. that's not the game i like to play. i'm not interested in points scoring and saying look, the republicans get a minus 10 and
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the democrats get a minus 15. i'm not interested in the. michael as a scientist and as a science writer is to straighten the public record. and to say the conservatives get this wrong, on climate change, they're wrong here. the liberals or progressives are wrong on genetic modification. that's the role i see myself playing. that's the role we play on real clear science. for how you improve communication, that's the $64,000 question. scientists don't have a strong lobbying group in washington. there's a very small handful of lobbying groups and scientist don't tend to go out and vote en masse. when they're upset about something you don't see a bunch of white lab coat people protesting. it just doesn't happen. >> i think that's intentional in a lot of ways. you mentioned earlier some of his studies questions because they are an activist. how do we indicate without
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appearing to be biased? >> it is the most delicate high-growth walk you can imagine. it is giving the science and the if you feel compelled to say what policy you think they should follow, saying now i'm speaking as a policy advocate and i think we should do this policy, okay. because that is a different discussion than the underlying signs but i think making that distinction crystal clear is important for scientists to do. >> have a really quick question. what you think about the arguments some make that they shouldn't are both side of every issue, their some issues that are so overwhelmingly the consensus is that you shouldn't cover both sides. what do you think that? >> i think that's been a big problem and that's partially why for so long people believe autism. i'm being quite serious when i said the medical community never even believed this. i've taught classes where i would bring them and say okay,
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there's concerns are with this and a professor in the back of the room said no there are not. there are no concerns about this. it is just not excepted in the medical community. so part of the problem with that science journalists were not the ones doing most of that reporting. it was general reporters. so what do general reporters to? they go get an opinion from a democrat, and a penny from a republican and that's the news of the day. it doesn't work in science. you can't get, here's the pro-vaccine position and now will go find a anti-vaccine cook and see what they say and that's a balanced position. it doesn't work like that in science. to do better science journalism, it helps to have scientifically knowledgeable people as science journalist, people who were former scientists. >> that's what the problems with loading media i think is the people who are science writers are being let go, the science beat is going back to -- >> i believe it was the guardian
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who said that the climate science journalism is his own fault and that when scientist to become bloggers can do a better job at the science communication in science journalists, then that's a really bad thing for science journalism. it's good for the public but for the established media, it's not good for them. >> thanks very much for this excellent presentation. i'm adam from the new atlantis. so, -- >> we have run some of your stuff. >> i know, it's wonderful. thank you so much. one minor quibble with your presentation, and then the question. so the quibble is you mention in passing that human cloning is banned in the united states. back to my knowledge is just not true. federal funding is prohibited from going to the human cloning in the same way that are, they are under the dickey wicker
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writer. there's other -- >> you may be correct on that. my knowledge is that cloning for the purpose of creating a new human being is illegal. that was my understanding of it. am i not right about that? >> i'm happy to chat more afterwards. >> [inaudible] >> there was a moratorium. >> thank you for correcting on the. >> on to linger for a little more on the ethics side down. one of my problems with the kind of pro-science, and i signed rubric that a few the people here have quibbled with, you know, comes from, you know, looking at what the policies are better described as being pro-science or anti-science. so you presented president obama's stem cell policy, and given a summit of president
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bush's stem cell policy, which as you rightly noted was derided at the time by critics including many scientist activist. scientists and they get very in politics from 2001 on through maybe 2007, eight on this issue. it was derided as being anti-science. and yet the policy was put in place to institute a kind of ethical boundary. say here are some things that we don't want to permit, here's some things that would like instead to encourage. other avenues. just this week the nobel committee, the nobel assembly announced that a researcher who discovered and used stem cells -- >> and gordon. >> gordon had been cloning work, frogs, decades ago. but the other, a kind of stem
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cell that prevents the need to destroy human embryo and create embryonic stem cells. he would be receiving, sharing the nobel prize. so coming around to the question, i mean, here's president bush's policy that was put in place to stop incentivizing and stop funding, prevent the funding of, the destruction of human embryos in the name of research, the creation for research purposes, and it ended up kind of encouraging other avenues of scientific research that just this week we learned how resulted in a nobel prize. so now finally after this long winded come around, here's the question. i think this is a challenge to the anti-science and pro-science rubric, and i wonder if you would say that as a look at overtime whether it's like a little bit of a too shallow with
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looking at things, whether it's coming, moaning on the left or from the approach you have here, that things are more complicated, pro-science or anti-science? >> you're absolutely correct. there is a role for bioethics in science, okay. and i would be hesitant to call someone anti-science if they are objecting on something on bioethics grounds. you can get a ph.d now in bioethics, okay? so that so involved and complicated the skill has become. i would agree with you that there is a value in not just plowing forward and doing whatever we want whenever we want. there's a quote from jeff goldblum who said we were so obsessed whether now we could do something we never thought if we should. heaven forbid i get my philosophy from jurassic park but he makes actually a decent
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point. so that is a key role in bioethics. i come down the side that embryonic stem cells is something we should be doing. including induced pluralistic stem cells. i saw a study a couple years ago where they compared the transcription prosoft -- profile. they showed that they simply are not the same. we would never have known that i would not funded embryonic stem cells. i do think they have a tremendous promise i think where to go side by side in doing both at the same time. >> at the -- [inaudible] >> fair enough. >> our last question.
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>> one question i didn't get a chance, i want to ask you how you felt about nasa's space exploration, the international space station and the recent expedition landing curiosity on mars, how does that play into some of the ideas that you have, if at all, and what you're looking for a scene in the next couple of years that you think would be beneficial to not only country but -- >> that's a great question, and you know, i think that space policy, i think nasa turning over some of the more routine, taking cargo up, taking cargo back, we call that routine but it's very dangerous. i think turned it over to the private sector was a good move i think it allows us to focus more on really big projects a private sector may not be able to fund. because i can't conceive of a private company going to mars,
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just because what's the financial payoff? you get to mars and then what? big red dirt planet. not a lot there. so i see the role of nasa taking more of a broad, put a moon colony on the moon, that would be kind of cool. go to mars, do things like that. i would like to see it. been the private sector doing more of the space tourism and in some of the more routine cargo shuttling from things like that. i think that's a good direction that we seem to become that's what we are heading in. >> [inaudible] >> you know, i don't know. >> if you look at what's happening right now we just had a private lunch to the space station, the second private launch to the space station. so clearly there is money. there's funding for it. i'm very optimistic to give multiple companies companies competing on space flights. i think that's why your private companies go to mars come is bragging rights over the technology and the value of the
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patent technology. >> there is an idea that government would give an award to the first team who gets there and say hey, the first team who gets to mars gets $20 billion or something. that might be a motivating factor to get to mars. i'm kind of open. i have the temerity to any particular idea of space technology. we are watching it evolve before our very eyes and you will be interesting to see what goes over the next few years. >> i would rather see them explore the ocean bottoms first. we haven't matter that you did on that note i will wrap up. thank you all for your attendance. have a great afternoon. [applause] >> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with booktv tests and yours. watch videos to get up-to-date information on events. facebook.com/booktv. >> "mother jones" washington bureau chief his most recent
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book called showdown, the inside story of how obama fought back against john bennett, eric cantor at a tea party. is it referring to specific incident or just politics in general? >> kind of both. the book is a behind the scenes account of what happened in the white house after the november 2010 election when the republicans and the tea party really knocked barack obama for a loop and took control of the house and everything that happened after that. the tax cut deal, the big fight over the budget and the debt ceiling and deficit reduction, also what happened in egypt and libya. and so i'm looking at how obama made the decisions he made and why did the actions he took. and a very perilous time politically but also explain how this is all done in a way, set up a 2012 campaign that we